Guest Columns

George Bowers Sr.: June brides then, now, and later

June is the month for weddings. According to Soundvision.com, nearly 11 percent of all couples tie the nuptial knot sometime during this month. Not only is there wedding weather, but the timing also coincides nicely with graduations when many are ready to begin new chapters in their lives. As ...

James Pinsky: Hail to the mighty earthworm

As a child, worms I and were great friends because they helped me with two things in my life: catch fish and kept pesky girls at bay. Decades later, I’ve learned that the mighty and underappreciated earthworm does a lot more than catch fish and chase off pigtails. In fact, they may well be ...

Tom Crosby: Dodge’s popular Durango SUV adds GT trim

Dodge dropped its limited edition of the Durango for 2017, replacing it with a new GT (Grand Touring) trim with a monochromatic exterior preserving the SUV’s already good looks. Our test drive had an eye-catching bright White Knuckle Clear-Coat paint job mimicking a Star Wars Storm Troopers ...

George Bowers Sr.: Insight from our dying ash trees

Our Shenandoah Valley forests are taking another hit. A little over 100 years ago, the chestnut blight eliminated one of the most useful and stately trees in our woodlands. About 50 years later, the hemlock woolly adelgid began to hammer our Eastern hemlocks and many have succumbed to their ...

George Bowers Sr.: Graduation, football, and life

It’s a special weekend here in Shenandoah County as our high school seniors walk across stages, pick up their diplomas, and head off into life. Many surrounding localities have already celebrated these milestones and a few are yet to come, but by mid-June most schools are out and students who ...

Jason Wright: A message to grads, and the rest of us

Graduates, let’s talk about truth. You’re about to step into a world where it’s increasingly difficult to discern truth. Where the ability to deceive is often viewed as a talent and a praiseworthy attribute. Where slick marketing, PhotoShop and fancy filters create lies and illusions ...

James Pinsky: Buffy, the non-point source pollution slayer

Most people like super heroes, even conservationists. Comic books, movies and even international conventions have been dedicated to names like Super Man, Aqua Man and of course, Wonder Woman because they all help save our fantasy world. Make believe can be fun, if not futile. Super heroes do ...

George Bowers Sr.: Happy birthday to the church

Sunday is a very special day for the church. Not Antioch nor any other particular congregation, nor even any denomination, but all denominations and all congregations of true Christians. This Sunday is the birthday of THE church universal. Fifty days after Jesus rose from the dead, God the ...

James Pinsky: Tips for managing your lawn

Most folks I know like green lawns. Some of us like ours, others like theirs – and a few like our neighbors’ more than our own. Envy it seems can be a fertilizer too. Having a healthy lawn though doesn’t mean it’s always green, cut golf-course short or free from critters. The truth is ...

George Bowers Sr.: The folly of Millennium Tower

In 2002, Millennium Partners pitched a proposal to build the tallest residential building west of the Mississippi in San Francisco. The Planning Commission approved their request and the $350 million construction project began in 2005. Four years later, the 645-foot, 58-story skyscraper known ...

James Pinsky: Local working group seeks input

Teamwork usually enables success. This is true in sports, business and conservation. In fact, many of your local conservationists like the Natural Resources Conservation Service and we here at the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District are big fans of collaboration. So much so that ...

Roger Barbee: A forgotten garden

The other day while mowing the front yard, I noticed a lone peony next to the large boxwood. What drew my attention to it was that it was about to open into the full bloom of pink like those in front of the bay windows. Some years ago while digging at the roots of an old lilac bush that was ...

George Bowers Sr.: A fall at the falls

As I shared in last week’s column, Nancy and I were privileged to recently visit Hawaii and enjoy many scenic and historic sites as well as the local cuisine, of which I brought back not a little on my person. It was truly an enjoyable trip and we are thankful for this special ...

Party with plant perfectionists at Gardenfest

Like to party? No, not ice cream cake, party hats and candles kind of stuff we pass off as “fun.” I mean do you like to party hard? You know, with knee pads, spades and Azaleas? Because if you do, and chances are you might, have I got the party for you. On June 3 the Northern ...

Tom Crosby: Volkswagen adds tweaks to popular 2017 Jetta

Volkswagen is the second largest automotive manufacturer in the world and knows it has to win back the public’s confidence after its U.S. emission-altering scandal. The Jetta remains the company’s best seller in the U.S. and while sales declined last year, changes for 2017 are minor for ...

George Bowers Sr.: Human sacrifices then and now

My wife and I recently enjoyed a wonderful vacation in Hawaii. It was the first either of us had been to the Aloha State and it was incredible. Inviting beaches, amazing mountains, and beautiful flowers everywhere you look. God’s creative genius amazed us and moved us to worship him more than ...

James Pinsky: Progress is being made on non-point source pollutants

On April 27 the several newspapers published a story chronicling the excessive E. coli levels in the Shenandoah River. We are sure the story raised quite a few eyebrows across the Chesapeake Bay watershed. However, none of those raised were ours. The Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation ...

James Pinsky: Clean the Bay Day

Most folks I know take great pride in their homes, and I bet animals feel the same way. The only problem is we humans aren’t always the best guests. As such, throughout the year, thousands of volunteers donate thousands of hours to clean up the messes we make enjoying Mother Nature. Often ...

Tom Crosby: 2017 Toyota Camry remains top sedan sold

When your sedan is the best selling car in the U.S., you don’t meddle with it much, so changes to the 2017 Toyota Camry were not major this year. However, Toyota plans to start selling a revamped, eighth-generation 2018 Camry this summer, opening up a unique buying window for this model ...

George Bowers Sr.: We still need to pray for America

The first Thursday of every May has been designated as America’s National Day of Prayer. Although we should pray every day, this special time is set aside for Christians to join together to pray for our nation, our citizens, and our leaders. The U.S. has and continues to enjoy many special ...